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Dress Brilliantly

Liana Galardi-Murgola of Be Brilliant Styling Shows You How to Create a Wardrobe to Highlight Your Unique Personality

Liana Galardi-Murgola has loved clothing her entire life. She always dreamed of working with fashion, but even more she wanted to help people. “I wanted to save the world,” she says. Her epiphany came after she earned a degree in psychology and was doing personal styling at Nordstrom. “I was building relationships with customers and realized this was an opportunity to bring psychology, helping people and fashion all together.”

She started working as a stylist in New York City in 2011, doing everything from look books to editorial styling and new fashion week. As she collaborated, she was struck by how many women had issues with their body image. “Growing up, I struggled with disordered eating and body dysmorphia—as is the case with many women,” Galardi-Murgola says. “While working with models and people in the fashion industry, I realized that many of these beautiful people don’t think they are attractive and have low self esteem.”

This prompted her to start the nonprofit Brazen Beauty Project with the mission to redefine the beauty standard, empower adolescents and erase the stigma around talking about body issues. “Studies show 96% of women would not call themselves beautiful and 83% of teenagers are not happy with their bodies,” she says. The nonprofit created a series of events in the New York/New Jersey area to raise awareness of an appreciation of women’s unique bodies. “The idea is that if young women and adolescent girls can be empowered to see and speak about themselves in a positive light, then we can shift the conversation about beauty and self-image world-wide and empower our future generations.”

When Galardi-Murgola decided to focus on Be Brilliant Styling full-time six years ago, she brought that same philosophy to her clients through one-on-one styling. When she meets new clients, the first step is to bring clarity to their wardrobe. “People need to edit their wardrobe to see what's working, what's not and why,” she says. “We first define who they are and what they want to communicate to the world.”

Using the client’s signature style as a basis, they then create a shopping strategy, buying new items with intention so they only purchase what is truly needed. The final step is styling the outfit. “We figure out how to put everything together to maximize their investment on new clothing and a return on investment for what is in their closet,” she says. 

According to Galardi-Murgola, people wear 20% of their wardrobe 80% of the time. “You think having a lot of things in your closet will give you versatility, but in reality, you don’t need that much,” she says. “If you repeat items—especially if you are using accessories or layering pieces with intention—you can change it up and people won’t notice. This intention is what gives you your signature look.”

A big reason people only wear 20% of their wardrobe is because much of their pieces are flair, not basics. Galardi-Murgola says 70% of your wardrobe should be a solid foundation of neutral pieces and versatile, basic silhouettes that can go with a lot of items and 30% should be the personality fashion. “This will give you the ability to wear more of your clothes,” she says. 

A repeating concern Galardi-Murgola sees is that women think something is wrong with their bodies because they have trouble finding clothing that fits them off the rack. “You have to realize it’s the clothes—not you,” she says. “It’s actually uncommon for people to be able to wear things off the rack and have them fit with no alteration.” 

People should rethink how they shop, she says. For example, even if you consider yourself in the “normal” range, depending on your body, you may need to shop in the petite section for either tops or bottoms. And petites perhaps could find a better fit in the juniors section.

Galardi-Murgola also notes that sizes do not necessarily go up incrementally by scale, and some women should consider looking in the plus section. “If plus sizes are cut properly, they will not be using the same pattern and just making the size larger; they actually will use different patterns. So, the plus size might be better for some women’s bodies.” 

This fall, she suggests going with layered looks, which are as practical as they are stylish. “Jackets and blazers are an easy way to make your outfit look complete,” she says. “I love sweater jackets, because they are comfortable but have structure and look professional.”

In the spirit of the Brazen Beauty Project, she says moms can empower their daughters by speaking positively about themselves and other people. “Your daughters are listening to everything you say,” she says. “Positive speaking, modeling healthy eating and focusing on things other than weight will give your daughters a good perspective.” 

Discover more tips or connect with Galardi-Murgola at Follow her on Instagram @bebrilliantstyling for weekly tips and free mini style workshops at

Wardrobe Advice

Make the basis of your wardrobe neutral colors. If you’re over 50, consider changing your basic neutral from black to charcoal or navy, which are also versatile and might be more flattering. Think about integrating teal and coral, which are lively, mood-boosting, pair well with other colors and are flattering to most skin tones.

Seek colors that naturally occur in your complexion and will enhance it. Hold the fabric up to your face with no makeup on and in natural light and see how it makes you look: Do you look more awake or do you see more imperfections?

Pair similar, but different, tones of a color for a powerful, monochromatic look. Think: navy with other blues. 

  • Liana Galardi-Murgola, Wardrobe Stylist and Owner of Be Brilliant Styling
  • Navy and Medium Blue Are Universally Flattering Colors
  • Liana Galardi-Murgola Connects With Clients Personally and Virtually